Week 10 - Lab Session #2

Find and evaluate 6 websites that you feel would be helpful to educators in an administrative position (supervisory, special services, principal, etc.) continue with their professional development and learning in the 21st century. Use the following criteria to help sift, filter, and sort through the large number resources available:
  • Included websites should allow for two-way communication, such as a blog or wiki format.
  • Websites should contain current information, and include information regarding curriculum and / or assessment. Although C & A does not have to be at the forefront of the material, they should be included in various posts, responses, etc.
  • Is there an RSS tag? Would you subscribe to it? Does it sound like something you would come back to or include in your Google Reader?
  • Is it timely, up to date, and include information relevant to your goals?

Write a short review for each site that includes the following:
  • Brief overview of the site, including who the site is targeted for.
  • A brief description of the author(s) – Who is doing the writing?
  • Identify and briefly describe the latest entry or topic that caught your attention, what you used as the criteria to include the site on your top six list.
  • What are your expectations? What are you looking to learn?

Where is your learning coming from?

  • http://digigogy.blogspot.com/This blog is phenomenal. The author is Mike Fisher, a teacher from New York. "Digigogy is a paradigm shift. Where pedagogy is about methods to instruct, Digigogy is about those methods, but with a technological frame. From hardware to software, from tech ed theory to application, Digigogy is about reframing our methods in the future of instruction." The author continuously updates his blog with current learning theories and useful websites. Both administrators and teachers should put this blog in their google reader. The author's blog allows for collaboration and direct chat through a widget (when he is online).
  • http://bnleez.blogspot.com/ This blog has a variety of posts about current educational practices and reflections of their use in the school system. The contributers are Benjamin Stewart, a professor in Mexico, and Janet B. The title of the site is "Collaborative Understandings: Cultivating Connections through Collegiality." The website also has a widget called "Meetsee" which is a chatroom.
  • http://ascd.typepad.com/blog/This blog is great for any educational leader. It is obviously through the ASCD, and has a variety of contributors. The blog contains an rss feed and updated podcast links. It is definitely worth adding to google reader.
  • http://teachdigital.pbwiki.com/This is a great wiki by Wesley Fryer. In order to join this wiki you need to request access. Wes Fryer does presentations for school districts on a variety of topics. This wiki has 21st century skills other tools that districts could utilize to improve student achievement. Educators should look at this wiki.
  • http://cellphonesinlearning.wikispaces.com/This is a very cool blog based on Liz Kolb's book, Toys to Tools. It is a public wiki, so anybody can edit the pages. Therefore, one should know that there are multiple authors for this wiki. It gives great insights for implementing the use of cellphones in schools. The wiki also gives a plethora of websites that districts can use to help with infusing cellphones throughout the curriculum. http://bitbybitseedlings.ning.com

I joined this social network because it too, has an abundance of good information and its members are educators from around the world. It is easy to navigate, collaborate, and utilize information effectively. The last post is very recent, and has probably changed since you have been reading my description. I would show this to my teaching staff and explain how simple it is to use and how it can be very beneficial to any education professional. This site also provides ideas for lessons using a variety of multimedia formats- creating level of “Bloom’s Digital Taxonomy.” Finally, this site allows you to collaborate with educators throughout the world and enables you to stay up to date with current education trends.

(I made a comment on the digigogy blog)**Mr. Jacobson** said...
Mike, great websites. I really enjoy reading your posts. The motivator website will be a great tool to use in my classroom. Also, I wanted to share a website I use that you shou ld check out--

(It allows you to generate random groups, seating charts, etc... and it is free).
**April 1, 2009 2:57 PM** external image icon_delete13.gif

  • Administrator Internet Briefcase http://www.vickiblackwell.com/administrators/default.htm It is a well developed page that hosts a variety of essential resources at any administrator’s fingertips. The focus of this site is to provide school administrators the necessary resources to address issues and concerns as administrators. In addition this site provides principals quick access to the best Internet sites for their regular use. This site is written and maintained by Vicki Blackwell and Sandy Swartz – involved with the Louisiana Leads Project. This site offers categories with web resources in curriculum, data driven decision making, finance, general, professional development, productivity, professional organizations, professional reading, professional Organizations, etc. This site is listed amongst the 101 best websites for principals by ISTE. In addition one can obtain information on standards, suggestions for implementing Standards-based curricula and information on research about best practices. As far as a two way communication resource is concerned this site does not appear on the surface to offer this capability – but that is fine. It functions more as a compository of internet sites that appears to be updated recently. Sites noted are not dead sites, but accessible.

  • Educator’s World: Administrator’s Desk http://www.education-world.com/a_admin/index.shtml This is a great resource page from Educator’s World. There a School Administrator’s channel. It offers resources from helping teachers to get better classroom management school, improving cafeteria behavior, first day of school tips, to grant of the week highlight. The segment I found most interesting is “Education World Principal Files”. This features articles that focus on the important and practical elements of the school administrator's job. The contributors include school principals from around the world who voluntarily share their ideas about issues that all school leaders face. There are articles galore on all issues faced by educators- even interviewing tips. This site also offers "Partners for Student Success" series focuses on a school or district that has taken a unique approach to bringing together the school, its parents, and the community to help ensure student achievement. “Articles in this series are based on the work of the **National Network of Partnership Schools at Johns Hopkins University**”. It does provide a two way communication through a community bulletin board.

  • Administrators.Net http://administrators.net/ This is a division of Teachers.net. It offers resources for Administrators, such as administrative job postings, chat, administrator discussion boards, etc.

  • Administrators Online Assistance Resources http://www.sabine.k12.la.us/vrschool/admin.htm This webpage is a wealth of resources for any administrator. Subtitled: News for Administrators, it reads like a RSS feed for hot educational topics from all major educational publications.

  • New York State Resources for School Administrators http://usny.nysed.gov/schooladmin/ As a New Yorker and an educator, I could see using this site. Although its focus is what NYS administrators need to know about; it offers many links to must know websites and tools that can be used by all potential administers.

  • Websites Correlated to ISTE Nets http://www.iste.org/Content/NavigationMenu/NETS/ForAdministrators/NETS_for_Administrators.htm Great site that breaks webpages down into a chart for resources. This chart can also be taken and adapted to the individual district needs as well. Also great example to include in a district technology/curriculum plan. This resource brings together materials that brings educators together through face to face communication sessions; online, collaborative activities; and expert mentoring.

My comment on Administrator's blog on www.administrators.net


  • Intelligent Insights
  • Overview: sharing of contemporary research findings, insights, etc. regarding measures of human intelligence.
  • Author: this is a blog site, so the authors vary.
  • Latest entry / attention catcher: Today, April 1, 2009. Article posted on Brain structures and impulsivity.
  • Teacher Space
  • Overview: Linking special education and the main stream world.
  • Author: Patricia Robinson – therapist working with kids with autism and ADHD
  • Latest entry / attention catcher: March 31, 2009. Social Skills for Kids


  • Scholastic (!!) Administrator’s section
  • Overview: The good old Scholastic site for special education professionals with a section for administrators.
  • Authors: are sited by article
  • Latest entry / attention catcher: March 26, 2009. Article on the ARRA and IDEA – timely and important to my job right now.


  • Next-Ed
  • Overview: Various information, including a section on special education
  • Author: unknown
  • Latest entry / attention catcher: article about iPods and kids wit special needs.


  • Teaching Learners with Multiple special Needs
  • Overview: resources for supporting students, including places to buy assistive technology for special learners.
  • Author: varies by article
  • Latest entry / attention catcher: extensive blog list, especially for special education areas.


  • Overview: a publication I particularly like that I tend to refer to for the latest news that happens around the country.
  • Author: various, by article
  • Latest entry / attention catcher: Today. Stimulus Dollars to be Released for Schools. Another article regarding additional funds to be released with IDEA money

You can view my comments regarding an article about special education from Edweek below:

1. Educational Administrator's Briefcase - http://www.vickiblackwell.com/administrators/default.htm

  • This site is targeted for all types of administrators - principals, supervisors, superintendents - as well as in all disciplines. There are links to technological literacy sites as well as other subject areas.
  • Vicki Blackwell and Sandy Swartz, two educators with the Louisiana Department of Education, are doing the writing.
  • There is no latest entry or blog here, but I included this because I thought the amount of quality links to a variety of information merited it a place on the list. There is a wide variety of information here and it is easily organized and easily accessible.
  • I would look to use this site to increase my knowledge base on topics like curriculum, technology, supervision, and educational leadership. Again, it is easily accessible and very easy to use.

2. ASCD - Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development - http://www.ascd.org/

  • This site is targeted for primarily supervisors and curriculum developers. That being said, there are links to all kinds of wikis and blogs, as well as professional development courses, both online and in person.
  • The Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, based in Alexandria, VA are the authors of this site.
  • Again, no latest entry here, but I found the wealth of information and quality documents here to validate entry on this list.
  • I would use this to find the latest professional development courses both for my teachers and myself.

3. Teaching Literature to Adolescents - http://teachingliterature.typepad.com/teachingliterature/

  • This site is targeted towards supervisors and teachers of English. The blogs here offer creative and innovative strategies for increasing literacy in the English classroom.
  • Authors are variable, both all are professionals in the field of both literature and grammar.
  • The latest blog entry shows what a Los Angeles teacher used to incorporate his students' real life into the poetry he was trying to get them to write.
  • As a teacher of English, I would always want to keep a hand in what's going on in the world of English. As an English supervisor, I would use this as a resource for the teachers in my charge.

4. Castle - Center for the Advanced Study of Technology Leadership in Education -http://www.schooltechleadership.org/administratorblogs

  • Targeted for all kinds of administrators, but I'm sure that administrators looking to broaden their school or department's handle on technology will find this useful as it has a wide variety of blogs to subscribe to.
  • The College of Human Sciences out of Iowa State University is doing the writing.
  • Again, this is a collection of blogs to subscribe to, and I liked the variety present here.
  • I would use this site to again share with my colleagues, but also for me, I would like to keep a hand in a variety of topics.

5. LeaderTalk - http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/LeaderTalk/

  • Great site! Targeted towards all kinds of administrators, but I think principals and superintendents would benefit most from it.
  • There are blogs from all kinds of administrators here, so the authorship varies.
  • The latest blog connects a passage from Machiavelli's The Prince with the recent wave of teacher layoffs in an effort to save money in districts from coast to coast.
  • This site helps me keep aware of what is going on in all aspects of the world of educational leadership.

6. Scott Elias' Blog - http://blog.scottjelias.net/

  • This site is targeted towards any school administrator.
  • Scott Elias, a school administrator out of Colorado is the author.
  • The latest blog is a cry for building administrators to be more proactive and realize that they are the vital chain in the connection between the teachers and the superintendent.
  • I really took to the writing style of Elias and I enjoyed his insights...I would use his advice throughout my career to continue to maintain a good, open, and beneficial relationship between administrators and teachers.

Here's what I wrote to Scott Elias on his blog topic, "The Little Things"

Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day
• Ferlazzo lists and describes great websites to give students authentic lessons, both ELL, ESL, and EFL and for everyone else
• Author: Nominated for Best EduBlog 2007 and 2008, Teacher for 5 years of Beginner and Advanced Learners of English
• He updates a number of sites daily. This one struck me as extremely interesting (it allows you to create a chatroom for a virtual meeting): http://todaysmeet.com/ There are a million other posts similar to this.
• This site looks like Tech101 for people just like me who need help with direction in using technology. I can share this with the teaching staff .

iLearn Technology
• Practical tips for integrating technology in the classroom
• Kelly Tenkely, teacher for 6 years in K-5 Technology
• The last posting was yesterday, with a number of postings per day on websites designed to help students use technology: www.eyeplorer.com (neat interactive way to introduce units or topics to students, rather than wikipedia) and cl1p.net (make a url so you can share information from one computer to another for 7 days)
• Again, tech support for newbies like me. I became distracted by all of the different links.

• Thoughts, tips, and tools for integrating technology into the curriculum
• Thomas Daccord, educational technology specialist and author, veteran “laptop teacher” for seven years
• Most recent entry that caught my attention is “Is Online Literacy a Lesser Kind?” I’ve been wondering the same thing, as related to my students’ blogs, and thought this could enlighten me, as well as push me more in this direction.
• Links to interesting social studies related tech sites I look forward to reading more thoroughly.

Change Agency
www.ed421.com• Geared toward administrators, as her blog is geared toward change and revolution within education. Can teachers do it themselves? Probably not. Can administrators? Within their schools, yes.
• Author is Stephanie Sandifer, content area specialist in literacy, wrote a book, “Wikified Schools”
• She quotes Ghandi, “Be the change you want to see in the world.” All of the topics she has seems geared toward helping us do this. Sandifer presented at an ASCD conference last week on technology, so she must be big time. She has an entry on discovering vs. teaching history, and one on Twitter that I’ll be going back to read.
• My expectations are that she is going to give me some drive to change things up within my classroom, or later, in my school. “Education, Reinvention, Evolution…” is her motto. I like it.

The Power of Educational Technology
goal is to “demonstrat[e] the power of technology to transform learning, energize communities and i
· Geared towards teachers and administrators; her goal is to transform communities, energize for change

The author is the director of Academic Technology at an all-boys school in Boston.
· The entry posted 2 weeks ago called “Do we still need teachers?” caught my eye. I like the vibe and voice on the website. Easy to maneuver through.
· There’s a lot on this site… some things are entertaining(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nrlSkU0TFLs), some are informative for me (http://edtechpower.blogspot.com/2009/02/advice-for-teachers-new-to-twitter.html ), some are informative for students (http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2009/01/17/washington/20090117_ADDRESSES.html?hp

ChalkDust 101

  • Daily Diigo updates on various topics related to education

    · Author Patrick Higgins, doesn’t explain “who” he is, but this is a catch-all of everything he is interested in pedagogy-wise
    · “Is Google Making Us Stupid?”, Simpsons’ episode on Standardized Testing, “How Bill Gates Would Repair Our Schools,” etc. All of these are very interesting and entertaining
    ·This site will keep me up to date on issues related to pedagogy, increase of technology in curriculum, etc.

My comment on Change Agency: http://www.ed421.com/?p=829#comment-47015 (scroll down a bit)

From Toy to Tool: Cell Phones in Learning
Blog: several authors
This site targets use of cell phones in the school. I feel that this may be insightful to me as an administrator because of the huge crack down on the “no cell phone in use” policy that so many schools have. We just received a reminder from our principal today that students are not to have cell phones on during class and they must be in their bags, not their pockets. As an administrator, I’d like to keep up with different ways to allow technology be incorporated in my school.
Authors of this site come from all over the world. One particular entry that interests me is about a professor in South Africa that allow texting as part of the course. It states that student participation greatly improved and even offers a link to the actual interview.

Web 2.0 and School Administrators
Blog: several authors
This site was interesting because it is just different blogs for administrators and keeps them up to date on different things happening in their schools. It also has a margin loaded with different links related to education. I could use this site as a sound board for question/answer ideas from fellow administrators.
One posting on the site entitled “What were they thinking” caught my interest. I talked about how public things can be on the computer through myspace and facebook, and how some teachers are ruining their reputation with things that are put on the computer.

School and Education Law Blog
The blog is maintained by Glass Krakower LLP.
This blog is devoted to current legal developments in school and education law.
I grabbed this site because of my lack of knowledge in school law. I assume I will learn more as I go through this program, but laws change and are interpreted differently by different people. One post I found interesting is an example of what not to do in education…it addresses how a school administrator coerced student to speak against a teacher.

Curriculum Matters
Site allows for discussion about different subject areas.
Authors: Kathleen Kennedy Manzo and Sean Cavanagh
I could use this site to keep up to date on different subject areas and levels. One interesting post I noticed addressed using YouTube in grades K-12. This caught my interest because I believe the entire site is blocked from my school account. So, where do you draw the line?

Dangerously Irrelevant
Author: Scott McLeod, Director of CASTLE, University of Minnesota
This site focuses on technology, leadership, and the future of schools. I could use this site to keep up to date on different ideas about technology. One interesting post that I read addressed the following question “Could you identify 10 excellent web sites for your grade level / subject area?” I guess his comments struck me as funny because it took me so long to come up with the sites for this project.

Principal of the Matter
Author: Frank Pearse, Vice-Principal in Coquitlam, B.C., Canada
This is a blog about the principals of educational leadership. One entry I found interesting was how this Vice-Principal used a new way to communicate with parents through mass-emails. I could use this site for new and interesting ideas.

Cell Phones in Learning comment

This is a current and up to date site targeting educators. The author, Milton Ramirez is an educator, writer, and blogger. What caught my eye is the amount of resources on this one page including an RSS feed, youtube video, education headlines and links, and blogs all based on learning, knowledge, technology, and social media. With the move toward 21st century learning, it is a valuable site for educators looking to find out more about incorporating technology into curriculum and assessments. It is a very inviting site because it is user friendly.

The author Alexander Russo seems to be sponsored by scholastic on this blogging site. It is geared to everyone (teachers, parents, students, administrators, librarians, and more. The front page contains a long list of current blogs about what’s happening in education. The links for leadership, staff development, curriculum and instruction, and technology are particularly valuable and will be even more so as my career in education advances. There is no RSS feed, but there are so many resources in one place, it’s worth the visit. This is a very organized, well-constructed site.

The author Richard Byrne has compiled free resources for educators and administrators including links, applications, videos, and posts. There is an RSS tag that I would subscribe to because this site is timely and up to date with an ability to search past archives as well. It provides information and resources for the integration of technology in the classroom separated by content area. The slideshows are well constructed and informative and the blogs are very educational. Nobody is ranting and raving. It is a site I would post on. Many of the applications are good for assessment. This site will bring any educator up to speed with technology.

Educators use this site to post links for other educators in the areas of test preparation for students, current achievements in education, curriculum development, and tools for the classroom. There is not RSS tag. Feedback is encouraged. What I like is the music by which to learn link. It lists many songs students would want to listen to while learning…great idea.

This site contains educational news, information, and downloadable resources. You can subscribe and share through this site. There are also a long list of posts about the website itself although the author is not clear. What caught my eye was the downloadable and printable resources for the classroom. It is geared more toward the elementary level educator.

This blog is a list of resources for teachers compiled by and elementary school teacher named Dominic P. Tremblay. The links are separated by subject area. This current and up to date site contains resources for creating fun assessments for your classroom. This is a site I would visit to get new ideas for creating assessments. It has a lot of fun ideas. There is no RSS tag and no posts except by the author himself.

  • Put yourself out there! Comment on one of the sites that you have listed in your top six list. Copy and paste the address and the post to the end of your top six list.
  • Current Events
  • A Look into the Future..... Stay on top of assignments due at the end of the semester!
  • Bring a copy of your curriculum (for one course) in next week!